DEAR ABBY: I am in my 50s and have been a widow for several years. Two years ago, I met a man at church (I'll call him Bob) with whom I fell in love. We were very close and enjoyed each other's company. After almost two years, Bob called it quits, saying the relationship wasn't going anywhere. He wanted marriage, but I was in no hurry. I was financially set after my husband's death, and I liked the freedom that came from not being married.
After the breakup, my friends and relatives came out of the woodwork. One of them knew him professionally and said he had a very poor reputation in the community and was not respected by his peers. She also said he was known to date only women with money. It seems everyone in the family knew this except me. I asked why no one had said anything before, and they said they thought I wouldn't believe them because I seemed so in love. However, they also said that if Bob and I had announced marriage plans, they would have stepped in.
I have mixed feelings about their knowing all this and discussing it behind my back, but I'm thankful they were ready to jump in to keep me from making a mistake.
I just want your readers to know that if they find themselves in a situation similar to mine, they should listen with an open mind to people who love them. It could save them from making a terrible mistake. -- LUCKY TO BE SO LOVED
DEAR LUCKY: Your friends and relatives managed the situation wisely. They were ready to unfurl the safety net if need be, but unless and until you were about to make a serious mistake, they didn't interfere. You are fortunate, indeed, to be so loved.